I've been wanting to write this review for weeks, but it was December, and Christmas got in my way, and then I got sick, and then... well, you get the point. I was busy. But, this book is important enough to me, that I still absolutely must write this review. As a matter of fact, I am teaching a nutrition workshop this weekend, and I am going to give away a copy of it. What I really want to do is to pull an "Oprah" and give ONE COPY TO EVERY AUDIENCE MEMBER!! Cheers and applause! Okay, can't do that, but yes, I can give a raving review.
Please know, that I don't give raving reviews as a friendship service. If I don't like a book, I'd rather not write a review at all than write a good review. So, here it goes!
First of all, did you know that Kelly Bejelly resides right here in Portland, OR? I "met" her years ago through fastpaleo.com, and even then I was delighted to have someone from Oregon post her recipes on fastpaleo. Kelly is the first person (I think!) to publish a Paleo cookbook in Oregon. This makes her a celebrity in my book! I am totally star struck. Plus, she calls me hun. Okay, so she calls everyone hun, because she is just that nice.
The book is amazing... for a number of reasons!
1. She wrote all the recipes and photographed all the pictures herself. So you can be sure, each one of her recipes is tried and true, and also she has crazy food photography skills.
2. In the front of the book, you have actual chapters with the various recipes. Chapter 1 is The Basics with recipes like Barbecue Sauce, Ketchup, and Ranch Dressing, just to name a few. Chapter 2 is devoted to Breads, Wraps, and Pastries. Chapter 3 is Breakfast, then comes Mains, Sides & Salads, Desserts, and Drinks. I put a little post it note (color coded) on each new chapter page, so I know where to go, when I'm looking for a Main Dish. Smart, eh?
3. I think this is my very favorite thing in the whole book. Starting on page 287, each chapter's recipes have thumbprint sized pictures on one page! Seriously, how cool! I don't have to go through the whole damn book to find something to make. No, I can go right there on page 287, look through all the little thumbprints and find right there what I'm looking for. Of course there is a page number attached to each picture, so you can find the recipe easily. She even listed all the AIP recipes on a page. Pretty cool, right? Of course, then there is still the alphabetical index, if you don't like looking at pictures. ;)
4. Also in the back of the book, Kelly added a bunch of great information, like baking tips, cooking tips, and my personal favorite: conversions! Who knew that 1/2 teaspoon = 30 drops? I didn't! 5 1/3 tbsp = 1/3 cup or 5 tbsp + 1tsp. Yes, I may be getting a little too excited about these things. But first of all, I really have run into this problem, especially when trying to create my own recipes (which I have a love/hate relationship with), and second, I have never seen this in any other cookbook, so there!
5. The recipes! I'm sorry I cannot offer a picture. Both the Pepper Steak and the Duchess Sweet Potatoes were gone by the time I remembered to take a picture. That's why you get to look at my pretty face holding the book instead. ;) Okay, I have a confession to make. I am not much of a cookbook user. Sure, I'll skim through them to get inspiration now and then. But I usually just do my own thing. Why? Because most of the time, they are just too complicated for me. I am a busy mother of 3, we homeschool, I work, I run around town like a crazy person every day. And while I absolutely love to cook a good meal, I just don't have the time! But I also like to be organized and have a weekly cooking plan, and often enough I run out of ideas of what to make. And this is what makes THIS BOOK so special and different! It is easy! Even when there are 20 ingredients in a recipe, usually there will only be about 5 steps to whip up the dish. I need easy in my life, Paleo Eats makes me want to use it for just that reason!
She also added prep time, cook time, and how much of everything you get.
And finally, each recipe has a little blurb written at the top. She'll talk about how and when she came up with the recipe, why she loves it, and sometimes tell little stories about her life. This is absolutely sweet and charming, and I really totally dig it.
Soooo, if you are like me, and you want to support an awesome author from Oregon, then click that link below and pre-order your copy now!! Publishing date is January 6, 2015! Also, this is an affiliate link, so if you order through me, I also get a couple of bucks. :)
2015 is right around the corner! I can almost smell the promise of new and exciting things, goals, adventures, and new friends. While I'm aware of the fact, that January 1st is really just another day, I always feel like it is an especially good time to reflect on the past year, think of the things that went well, and those that went terribly wrong. I usually sit down to make some resolutions.
I have some thoughts in resolutions, that I'd like to share with you. Most people keep their resolutions very generalized. You'll hear people say things like, "I want to finally lose weight." or "I want to be a better parent." or "I want to work out more." or "I want to be a cleaner person." These resolutions are doomed from the day you made them.
Think of all of these resolutions as you have them on a list in front of you. Where do you start? And when will you be satisfied with your accomplishments?
Do you see how overwhelming this looks? It is no surprise that so many people don't last past February 1st! How much weight do you want to lose? What can you do to be a better parent? What does it mean to work out more? And what needs to be happen for you to be a cleaner person?
Resolutions need to be goals with a START and a FINISH line, much like your goals at work. They need to be as specific as possible, so you can place a check mark behind them once you've accomplished them. Plus, they need to be reasonable goals.
If you have 50lbs to lose, but you're also doing CrossFit 4 times a week, then maybe it's time to say goodbye to the number 50lbs and turn it into a whole new goal. You may want to choose a pair of jeans you want to fit into. You may choose to lose inches instead of pounds. Muscle weighs more than fat. Tracking your weight loss only may end up being a huge disappointment, as you build muscle.
If becoming a better parent is a goal of yours, then write down what it is you can do to be that person. Does it mean, you want to spend more time with your kids? Do you want to incorporate more play time? Do you want to cook a meal together every other day? Do you want to be more calm in certain situations? How can you accomplish this? Think! Really think about what EXACTLY you need to do to accomplish your goal!
Maybe your goal for the new year is to sleep more! What needs to happen for you to accomplish this? You might simply need to commit to a night time routine. Screens off by 9:30pm, read a book until 10:30pm, meditate, drink a glass of water. Whatever it is, be as specific as possible, so you can actually do this every night before bed.
Resolutions can be a great way to jump start your healthy lifestyle. Just make sure to have an action plan. Then put it up on a wall, a bulletin board, your phone, or wherever you know you'll check relatively frequently. You will love to make your check marks!!
Happy New Year!
I know this subject has been covered by writers big and small. You've likely heard arguments for and against eating bread, and maybe you are even still undecided about whether or not you should bother quitting bread and other gluten containing foods.
First, it's not just about the gluten, but also about WGA (wheat germ agglutinin) and opioid peptides.
Opioid peptides have been linked to schizophrenia (although not conclusively). They can also cause an addiction to wheat, as they are a chemical similar to opiate drugs.
WGA (wheat germ agglutinin) is a lectin found in wheat, that can damage the mucus membrane of the gut. It can cause inflammation, premature cell death, leaky gut, and other conditions. It is also believed that WGA could be a contributor to Vitamin D deficiency (bad news for someone like me, living in the Pacific Northwest!).
And finally, our old friend, gluten, causes inflammation in the gut, and our leaky guts will actually let the gluten proteins enter the blood stream, and wreak all kinds of havoc in your body. You could potentially even develop autoimmune diseases, as gliadin (a gluten protein) actually resembles other proteins in your pancreas and thyroid. Antibodies can attack those organs and cause things like hypothyroidism and type 1 diabetes.
Now, in Nutritional Therapy we learn that properly prepared grains can still be beneficial to you, and that bioindividuality plays a big role in how you are able to digest certain foods.
What does this mean?
Let's start with bioindividuality. Assuming, your ancestors ate a diet consisting solely of greens, berries, and meat, chances are you will have a higher likelihood of a gluten sensitivity for example. Weston A. Price, a dentist of the 1930s traveled the world and found that tribes not only survived but thrived on varying diets. The tribe in the Swiss alps may have eaten mostly bread from soaked, sprouted, and even fermented grains, cheese, raw milk, and other animal products, whereas a tribe in Africa may have eaten mostly roots, vegetables, and lean meat. All of them were healthy, strong, had great teeth, and did not suffer from the modern Western ailments that people in the United States suffered from even back in the 30s.
Having said that, our grains can no longer be compared to the ancient grains our ancestors ate. So, keep that in mind as you make a decision about what you're about to put into your body.
Secondly, soaking and sprouting. Why is it so important? Soaking and sprouting will make the grains more digestible by removing (or at least decreasing) lectin and other antinutrients. So, if grains and legumes are an important part of your life, then I highly recommend proper preparation of them. Here is a great Guide to Soaking and Sprouting, which will explain everything in great detail. It's really not that difficult. So, don't be scared.
Ultimately, the decision is yours.
I found that gluten (or maybe it's the WGA or the opioid peptides or all three of them) is not my friend. I've recently received a peace offering from someone. "Stollen" bites. Stollen is a German Christmas treat, that I absolutely love and miss dearly. Since it was a peace offering, I decided I needed to at least eat some of it. The reward followed the next morning, when I woke up with severe cramps and bloating, which lasted for 5 days! I felt absolutely miserable, and frankly, it kind of ruined my Christmas.
My truth is, that I cannot eat gluten. And I will not eat gluten ever again. I don't care if it's a peace offering from the Queen of England. It is absolutely not worth it. Not short term (pain and suffering) and certainly not long term (leaky gut and autoimmune diseases).
On my Facebook group Real Food 4 Us, the month of November was declared clean eating month. For the duration of 30 days, members ate as clean as possible. Most followed a paleo template with a couple of variations as people saw fit. Each week, members weighed in and sent me their numbers. This was to determine their weight loss over the course of the month and who ultimately would be the winner of this challenge and receive a free consultation with me. The challenge was all around positive, the competition very friendly.
However, a couple of ladies privately messaged me, sharing their frustration about the number on the scale, and that it wasn't moving as "fast" as they were hoping. Someone even quit, because there wasn't any loss at all. I admit that I am the first person to understand this dilemma. I have been addicted to the number on the scale since my beautiful mom determined and "ideal weight" for me. Since age 17 I have wanted nothing more than to weigh 150lbs. According to the charts in Germany this was ideal for a woman of 6 feet. Of course, I have been unable to maintain this weight for probably 3/4 of that time. The constant up and down that resulted from many years of yo-yo dieting only did one thing to me. I was terrified of the scale.
In the spirit of full disclosure... I have been doing CrossFit for almost three years. My weight as of today (yes, I stepped on that dreaded thing just so I could write this post) is 176lbs! I am wearing a size 8. And here's the thing: 20 years ago, I also wore a size 8. Four years ago I wore a size 6, but only because I did lose a lot of weight when I went paleo, and I wasn't doing CrossFit.
What does this tell us? The scale lies!
The scale gives you a momentary piece of information based on your current weight, not your real weight. Several factors play a role in how much you weigh on any given day.
If you're a woman, you already know that during that time of the month, your weight will go up as you experience bloating and water retention. This may last a week or longer. During this time, you cannot get an honest reading from the scale. DITCH IT!
Dehydration! Believe it or not, when you're more dehydrated, the body holds on to its water reserves even more. Your body is beautifully equipped to be prepared for an emergency situation. And dehydration is definitely, to the body, an emergency. DITCH THE SCALE!
Those pesky carbs! Yes, friends, for each gram of carbs that your body stores as glycogen, it also stores 3 grams of water. So, what happened the day after Thanksgiving? Your weight may have gone up, because you consumed more carbs, you increased your glycogen stores, and therefore your water weight went up. It WILL go back down. DITCH THE SCALE!
Yes, I've made the mistake of feeling defeated by the number of the scale. I've made it repeatedly and for many years. And I am still, to this day, learning to let go! It's not easy to form a new habit. But here's a great way to get started, and it is something that helps me tremendously!
Go by how you feel! I have been feeling great about myself lately. The person smiling back at me when I look in the mirror is happy about the progress I'm making. If this is you, then why hurt yourself by allowing the scale to run your life?
Take measurements instead! If you really need to track your progress, then take a measuring tape and measure your bust, waist, and hips. Note this down and don't it again until at least two weeks later. It is a good exercise in letting go, and it will show you the progress you want.
Go by the fit of your clothes! After decades of living inside your body, chances are you are pretty in tune with your appearance anyway and likely don't even need your clothes. Just putting my hands on my belly in the morning, I know if there has been an increase in volume. ;) As a general rule though, if your clothes fit comfortably, you're good. If they fit loosely, you know, you're losing weight. If they get a bit snug, well, then maybe it's time for a change in the way you eat.
Be proud of what you can do! Are you lifting heavy weights? Running marathons? Doing crazy complicated yoga poses? Are you working a full time job, all day every day? Are you mothering children, cleaning a house, running errands all day long? Who are you in your everyday life? Write down your list of accomplishments and be proud! Because the real measure of you does not come from a scale. It comes from who you are as a person! And there is no second you!
Be friends with your body! Your body is hanging out with you every day, and it adjusts faithfully to all the changes you make. It keeps you alive and running all day long, and it goes to work at night, while you rest. Your body deserves your love and gratitude every day. Treat it with respect!
Oh... and seriously consider ditching that scale!